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ARC3001 : Architectural Design 3

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Stella Mygdali
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 25
Semester 2 Credit Value: 35
ECTS Credits: 30.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module aims to enable students to research ideas and develop coherent architectural designs while integrating knowledge and understanding of the thematic areas of the syllabus and mastering the skills in architectural design whereby these ideas will find expression.
The module builds upon the foundation of architectural knowledge established in Stages 1 and 2.

In particular, the module objectives are that the student will be able to demonstrate through architectural design:

• Awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the disciplines which inform architectural design (design principles, technology and environment, cultural context, histories and theories of architecture, professional practice and management, and communication skills) appropriate to moderately complex, coherent, architectural designs.

• Knowledge and understanding of the interdependence of architectural studies in the context of architectural design – core bodies of knowledge, most important contexts, and principles and applications.

• The ability to produce coherent architectural design up to the level of a moderately complex building with the ability to integrate knowledge and understanding of the social and aesthetic requirements, building technologies, environmental design, and construction methods.

• Related awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the experiential and tectonic qualities of architecture appropriate to these levels of complexity.

• A personal philosophical and ethical approach as a basis for thinking about design. An awareness of different ways of practicing architecture and how this relates to their values.

• An awareness of the architect's responsibility to consider safety, inclusive design, wellbeing, end-user needs. and the climate crisis in design propositions.

• An ability in using appropriate visual, verbal, and written communication methods to test, appraise, and represent ideas and designs up to the scale of a moderately complex building.

• An awareness of the importance of working with others (clients, communities, colleagues) and the development of appropriate personal 'professional' skills such as honesty, integrity, and time management.

Outline Of Syllabus

A year-long studio project comprising a number of discrete stages. Aspects of the studio project are used for reference and illustration in other related modules (ARC3016 and ARC3014). Students are allocated one studio for the year from a range of studios – each with their own distinct approach to architecture.
Throughout the year, at cross-studio reviews, students are made aware of other studios’ methods and outputs to contextualise their own practice.

ARC3001 Architectural Design 3 builds upon the learning and skills developed in Stages 1 and 2 through an increased complexity in architectural design. The module builds upon the idea of integrated production introduced in Stage 2, requiring students to synthesise multiple aspects of architectural design, ranging from social contexts, construction and materiality, professional and ethical concerns, including climate aware design, and fire and life safety regulatory frameworks.

The module also seeks to enhance students’ use of visual, verbal, and written communication, to both test and represent appropriate design ideas and strategies.

Time is spent considering design method and students are expected to reference historic and contemporary precedents in this regard.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Academic portfolio - preparation of the portfolio
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials21:002:00Design Lectures - synchronous live online workshops covering the application and integration of knowledge for key considerations of design thinking and development
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities30:201:00Tools for Design - non-synchronous learning material, including technical and digital skills
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities18:008:00Field Trip Preparation - non-synchronous learning material focused on the field trip
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities1150:00150:00Design Studio Work - project related exercises and tasks as discussed in tutorials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching14:004:00Peer Review - presenting own work to other students and reviewing the work of others
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities1115:00115:00Design Studio Work - specific research relating to the design project
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching34:0012:00Review Days - presenting own work and attending presentations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00Tools for Design - Theory into Practice Series - teaching and learning activities aiming to critically explore, understand, and reflect on the context of the design work as well as the means by which you represent the key ideas of your work in practice
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching182:0036:00Group Tutorials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops41:004:00Tools for Design - synchronous skills workshops
Guided Independent StudyProject work1150:00150:00Design studio work - non-synchronous individual activity related to project development and synthesis
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity51:005:00Round Table Discussions - peer-led workshops focused on different aspects of their projects
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork120:0020:00Field Trip - two and a half days
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity132:0032:00Academic Portfolio - directed work of a reflective nature related to the project portfolio
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork24:008:00Project Site Visits - analysis of sites relating to the design project
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk161:0016:00Module Talks - including introduction to module stages, Q&A sessions, practitioner talks, and lectures on key subjects and themes
Guided Independent StudyDistance Learning Advance Preparation12:002:00Academic portfolio - reflective exercise
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
ARC3014Professional Practice and Management 3
ARC3016Architectural Technology 3: Integrated Construction and Practice
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Architectural Design 3 aims to consolidate, develop, and expand on the key design skills gained during Stages 1 and 2.

The module consists of one, year-long, design project organised into discrete stages. The project is delivered through a studio model. Studios offer a range of design contexts and pedagogies all culminating in a building of similar scale and complexity. Each studio adheres to the same overall year structure and milestones designed to meet the learning outcomes of the module. The projects are developed to encourage critical and reflective thinking at all scales of design, from conceptual through to material and tectonic declarations of intent.

At key points throughout each Semester the student is expected to declare both process and outcomes and an emphasis will be placed on the effective communication of ideas in a variety of formats. Students are given limited flexibility within each studio to develop their own aspects of the brief or site selection. Each of the studios entails a variety of group and individual tasks. Students are encouraged to share their studio’s methodologies and outputs through stage reviews and cross-studio presentations. Peer learning is also encouraged through studio exercises and student participation in reviews and seminars. The participation in a lively and vibrant studio culture that fosters a culture of debate and develops both oral and graphic confidence is a key part of the student learning experience.

While there is both synchronous and non-synchronous learning and teaching activity for all modules across the programme, structured guided learning is weighted towards non-design modules and scheduled learning and teaching activity hours are weighted towards Architectural Design modules. The latter is a reflection of:
• A design studio pedagogy which is centred on a dialogic and responsive approach to students' own research and creative work.
• Student feedback and high student attendance at weekly online Architectural Design Stage briefings (module talks) during the period of remote teaching in 2020.
• Architectural pedagogy is reliant on a high proportion of independent learning to support the design process and the MOF hours are consistent with this approach.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2M90A design portfolio assessment. To pass the ARC3001 module a student is required to pass at a minimum this individual assessment.
Design/Creative proj1M5Group work will be assessed based on research output, critical analysis and proposition in the format of a curated exhibition and oral presentation.
Report1M5Individual student performance is assessed by a short illustrated reflective report which asks students to reflect on the theory and methods that inform their developing practice.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

GROUP WORK (5% of final mark)

Any students that do not contribute to, or have fallen short of the prescribed scope and criteria of group work, will fail the assessment.

INDIVIDUAL WORK – Theory Into Practice (5%):

INDIVIDUAL WORK - Portfolio Submission (90% of final mark)

Individual projects are provisionally marked at key stages with formative feedback provided as well as a provisional grade. Each project is evaluated against a set of criteria outlined in the project descriptions. The formal assessment of this individual work, related to the design project and portfolio design, will take place at the end of semester 2 where work will be assessed holistically as an academic portfolio and given a final (%) mark. This allows students to reflect critically, amend and develop individual work before the final portfolio submission at the end of semester 2.

The assessment criteria for both semesters are based on learning outcomes and assessment criteria outlined in the respective briefs. The criteria will integrate the aspects detailed below along with a studio specific marking criteria that will be assigned by each individual studio.

Criteria for assessment:

Design Process: assesses the quality, depth, and rigour of students’ development of their design ideas. Students are expected to demonstrate evidence of rigorous, detailed research, definition of a clear design brief, selection of appropriate methods for testing iteratively design ideas, evidence of appropriate and rigorous experimentation, testing and controlled risk taking and learning from precedents and methods.

Ethical Framework: assesses student’s critical response and judgement of important relational contexts connected to the project brief and broader architectural discipline. Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to structure and articulate a critical position, argument and narrative that is well referenced and uses appropriate contemporary and historic precedents. Students are also expected to evidence judgement in response to studio themes, social, political, environmental, material, cultural, historical, professional context(s) and to show an understanding of the principles of inclusive design, life safety, and sustainable design.

Design Proposition: assesses the quality, relevance, control, articulation and functionality of the students overall architectural design. Students are expected to evidence an appropriate, relevant and controlled design solution that articulates the balance of user needs, contextual integration, spatial articulation, spatial quality (appropriate scale, functionality) and experiential consideration (atmosphere, materiality, lighting, integration of technology). Importantly, this needs to be evidenced clearly in the context of the current climate crisis – demonstrating an understanding of the consequences of design decisions and the process of making design choices. Students’ are expected to evidence how their design proposals developed from the process work and how they respond to the ethical framework established.

Construction and materiality: assesses students’ research, judgement and integration of tectonics within the design proposal. Students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of material and tectonic principles and evidence the appropriateness of those to the project brief and line of enquiry. Students are expected to demonstrate their sustainable and ecological approach in relation to construction and material choices.

Communication and representation: assesses the students’ control, accuracy, composition, clarity and detail within a student’s representation. The communication needs to be relevant to the projects line of enquiry and evidence atmosphere, inhabitation and response to context.

Reading Lists